Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Jack Cunningham (1922-2018)

Jack Cunningham, art editor and designer on many IPC comics during the 1970s and 1980s, died following a severe stroke on 5 August 2018, aged 95.

Photo: Fraser Gray
Born John Davis Cunningham in Scotland on 17 December 1922, Jack worked for an advertising agency in Glasgow before moving to London in the mid-1950s. After working in a number of jobs in advertising and film titling, he went for an interview with Pat Halls at Newnes. Although he had no magazine experience, he was hired on the strength of his portfolio and began working at the company’s Tower House office on Southampton Street, overlooking Covent Garden. Some of his earliest work appeared in the confessions magazine True Stories, and various pop magazines.

When various publishing operations were merged to create IPC Magazines, Jack was moved to the women’s group, which also included a number of girls’ comics. He worked on Princess Tina, Valentine and Mirabelle in the 1970s, moving to Fleetway’s juvenile division shortly before the latter folded in 1977. There he worked with Mirabelle’s former editor, Malcolm Shaw, on a new mystery comic, which emerged in 1978 as Misty. “Jack designed all the story titles and logos that appeared in Misty, and devised the moon and bat cover logo,” says Julia Round. “He also hand-lettered the weekly greeting from Misty herself that appeared on each inside cover – giving it a personal air and greater flexibility to fit the space available. Jack’s contributions helped develop Misty’s character by sparking elements such as her bat messengers and the Cavern of Dreams.”

Following the demise of Misty in 1980, Jack worked on the development of the New Eagle and became the layout artist for the photo stories that were the mainstay of the early issues. He was pictured in a feature on the creation of the new paper in Eagle Annual 1983 working on a rough for the cover of the first issue.

Jack lived in the same house in Orpington, Kent, for over fifty years. His wife, Agnes (Nancy), died within a couple of weeks of him and the two were buried together. They are survived by three of their four children.

Julia Round's tribute to Cunningham can  be found at Down the Tubes.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the link to Julia's tribute, I've reciprocated



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